West Ham United only won three Premier League games on the road in the entirety of last season. Well, this time around they have already won four, after a 2-1 success at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night.
David Moyes made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace five days earlier, as Kurt Zouma returned to captain the side and replace Konstantinos Mavropanos, who dropped to the bench, while there was also a change in goal, with Łukasz Fabiański filling in for Alphonse Areola, who suffered a wrist injury in training.
Youngsters Joseph Anang and Divin Mubama were part of the travelling matchday squad.
Both teams had played on Sunday so there wasn’t an advantage for either team in terms of freshness. However, Ange Postecoglou’s side had the added boost of coming into this game off the back of a 3-3 draw at Manchester City. As a consequence of that result, it was the home side who made the brighter start. Dejan Kulusevski had an early chance but thankfully, Fabiański was alert and kept his effort out.
The hosts continued to apply pressure and it paid off as they went ahead from a corner. Pedro Porro sent it into the area and Cristian Romero beat both Nayef Aguerd and Edson Álvarez to the ball to head into the net past the Pole.
The North London side had a chance to double the advantage but fortunately, Vladimír Coufal got a vital block to Brennan Johnson’s shot.
Postecoglou’s men were still threatening another goal. The former Arsenal and Swansea City goalkeeper was tested by Son Heung-min but he was able to hold on easily.
West Ham’s first opportunity came on nineteen minutes. James Ward-Prowse sent another corner over but Tomáš Souček couldn’t make it count, as his header went wide.
Giovani Lo Celso went close twice but failed to trouble Fabiański. Soon after, Mohammed Kudus gained possession and tried his luck. To be fair to the Ghanaian though, he did force a save out of home goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.
Lucas Paquetá almost levelled for his side but he could only head a cross from Kudus over, despite being unchallenged.
The Hammers were trying their best to get into the game but they were unable to cope with the relentless pressure from the hosts. The Australian was still seeing his side dominate but they couldn’t add to their tally with a number of chances coming and going.
Zouma was lucky not to give Spurs a bigger advantage going into the break, as he hit his own post in stoppage time before the end of the first forty five minutes.
Although there were signs of improvement towards the end of the first-half, the visitors needed to make those chances pay and when referee Michael Salisbury blew the whistle for the action to recommence, it took them just seven minutes for Jarrod Bowen to do just that. The former Hull City winger did well to evade the attentions of Romero and was able to find Kudus. The Ghanaian took a shot which was helped into the net by the aid of Bowen’s right foot and two deflections from Tottenham players.
The Irons had confidence going into this game but that goal gave them even more, so the momentum of the match shifted and was by this point swinging their way.
Vicario made two great saves in order to keep his side on level terms. Firstly when Paquetá went close minutes later, Ward-Prowse delivered a cross but it was diverted into the side netting.
Postecoglou made a double change on sixty seven minutes, as both Richarlison and youngster Oliver Skipp took the places of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Lo Celso.
The former Everton and Watford striker almost had the desired impact but fortunately, for those who had made the trip across London, he sent a header wide.
Soon after, Fabiański did brilliantly to beat away Porro’s attempt.
With sixteen minutes of normal time to play, the game was turned on its head. Vicario could only parry a misplaced passback before Bowen could reach it. The ball fell to Ward-Prowse who was in the right place to follow up. His first effort struck the post but he swept home the rebound. I wasn’t in attendance myself but I can only imagine what the atmosphere was like at that moment!!!
Pablo Fornals was the only change made by Moyes at the weekend and he was the only player to be sent on from the bench here, as he took the place of Kudus.
There was a VAR check for handball against Bowen late on but it was dismissed after a short time.
There was even more delight amongst the travelling support when Salisbury blew the final whistle after five minutes had been added on.
The Hammers will be hoping for more success when they travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham on Sunday afternoon.